Celebrations

by on December 20, 2013

Psalm 118:24(NIV)
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Nehemiah 8:10(NIV)
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Deuteronomy 16:14-15(NIV)
Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
 
God desires us to celebrate and have some fun, memory making fun. When was the last time you had some serious fun? I mean down and out fun that brought you laughter, joy and pure enjoyment.  A family game played, a walk in the park, a book read, or just a simple gathering with family or friends.  God designed us to have fun.  Good clean fun that brings us joy and also brings him joy.  He loves to see his children let go and just enjoy the life he’s given us. To celebrate the work of his hands in our lives. 
For me there are some things that bring me great joy and laughter.  One of them is a gathering of women in my book club.  It never ceases to amaze me the amount of laughter a group of women can produce over simply reconnecting, “reading” a book, and playing a board game.  This book club and the women in it, fill me with joy.  I have another group of friends from church, my kids call us “the church ladies” and when we get together, the laughter brings us to tears.  Fun! I am so grateful to have so many women in my life who bring me laughter and joy.
Fun, serious fun is a gift from God.  For me, serious fun at Christmas consisted of being outdoors in the winter, celebrating by spending the day sledding down my parents driveway.  We did it before we had kids, we did it while the kids were young and we did it up until the day my parents moved away from that home.  Those moments were sacred.  Moments that I recall with joy, laughter and a desire for togetherness. Treasured memories that I am so grateful for and will remember forever.  Joy from head to toe. 
Christmas is a time of get togethers.  Family gatherings big or small, cookie exchanges, gift exchanges, and get togethers to reconnect with old friends near and far.  A time to reflect on God’s faithfulness in our lives over the past year, a time to grieve what isn’t or is missing, but it should also be a time to celebrate all that God is, all that he’s done in our lives. For me, Christmas is a season of celebrating Gods precious gift of his one and only son, Jesus. I am forever grateful for God’s grace and mercy towards me.
There is a silly song I sang in South Africa to the children, on that brings belly laughs and smiles because it is so incredibly silly.  But the purpose of the song is to make memories.  The song ends with “Making Memories in my heart to praise the Lord.” What treasured memories do you have from Christmas past? What new memories would you like to make this Christmas? I pray you will take the time to add some belly laughs to your Christmas celebration.

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